Inslee names Bridges, Levinson to Public Disclosure Commission

OLYMPIA — He presided over the legal challenge of the historic 2004 gubernatorial election.

She led the statewide campaign to preserve Washington’s gay marriage law in 2012.

Now John Bridges and Anne Levinson will put their legal acumen and political knowledge to work enforcing the state’s labyrinth of campaign spending laws as members of the Public Disclosure Commission.

Gov. Jay Inslee made the appointments Tuesday, culminating a nearly yearlong search and giving the five-member commission a full contingent for the first time in Inslee’s tenure.

“The governor preferred to take time to appoint the right people,” Inslee spokeswoman Jaime Smith wrote in an email. “He was looking for appointees who bring a strong commitment to fairness and integrity. And, quite frankly, it can be hard to find people willing to serve in a role that is so often politicized.”

Bridges will begin Dec. 8 and fill the vacancy created when Barry Sehlin of Oak Harbor completed his term in December 2014. Bridges will serve the remaining four years of the five-year term.

Levinson will join the commission Jan. 1 and succeed Commissioner Kathy Turner who is stepping down. Levinson will serve a full term.

Bridges, an attorney, was the Chelan County Superior Court judge who presided over the lawsuit which sought to overturn Democrat Chris Gregoire’s defeat of Republican Dino Rossi in 2004.

Rossi and the state Republican Party had sued to set aside the closest governor’s race in the nation’s history, which Gregoire won by 129 votes after a hand recount of more than 2.8 million ballots.

They argued there were enough disputed votes to change the outcome of the election but in June 2005, after a two-week trial, Bridges ruled that there had not been enough evidence of deliberate acts of election sabotage.

Levinson, a Seattle attorney and former Municipal Court judge, chaired the Approve Referendum 71 campaign in 2009, which defeated the attempted repeal of the state’s domestic partnership law. In 2012, she chaired the committee for the Approve Referendum 74 campaign, which turned back the attempted repeal of the state’s marriage equality law.

“Ensuring that the letter and the spirit of the State’s disclosure laws are fully met is critically important to maintaining public trust in the integrity of the electoral and governing processes,” she wrote in her application for the position.

“The continually increasing influence of money and special interests in campaigns and governance makes our state’s requirements for transparent and understandable reporting, public access to government records, disclosure of elected officials’ sources of income and interactions with lobbyists as important today as they have ever been,” she wrote.

Commissioners receive $100 for any day they work and can be reimbursed for travel.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

N3054V accident site. (Alaska State Trooper Photo)
Lake Stevens pilot, who lived ‘Alaska dream,’ died in Fairbanks crash

Former Snohomish County lawyer Harry “Ray” Secoy III, 63, worked as a DC-4 pilot in Alaska in the last years of his life.

Air and ground search and rescue teams found Jerry Riedinger’s plane near Humpback Mountain on Monday. (WSDOT photo)
Remains of pilot recovered near Snoqualmie Pass after Arlington flight

Jerry Riedinger never made it to Ephrata after departing the Arlington airport Sunday. Investigators have not determined the cause of the crash.

Federal prosecutors say the two men shown here outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, are Tucker Weston, left, and Jesse Watson. (U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia)
Lynnwood roommates sentenced for roles in Jan. 6 riot

Tucker Weston was given two years in prison Thursday. Jesse Watson received three years of probation in August 2023.

Lynnwood firm faces $790K in fines for improper asbestos handling

State regulators said this is the fifth time Seattle Asbestos of Washington violated “essential” safety measures.

A truck towing a travel trailer crashed into a home in the Esperance neighborhood Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Edmonds, Washington. (South County Fire)
Man seriously injured after his truck rolls into Edmonds home

One resident was inside the home in the 22500 block of 8th Avenue W, but wasn’t injured, fire officials said.

Ferry workers wait for cars to start loading onto the M/V Kitsap on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Memorial Day holiday weekend travel nightmare is upon us

Going somewhere this weekend? You’ll have lots of company — 44 million new BFFs — on planes, trains and automobiles.

Bothell family says racism at Seattle Children’s led to teen’s death

In February 2021, Sahana Ramesh, the daughter of Indian immigrants, died after months of suffering from a rare disease.

Boeing Firefighters and supporters have a camp set up outside of Boeing on Airport Road as the company’s lockout of union firefighters approaches two weeks on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Union firefighters reject Boeing’s latest contract offer

The union’s 125 firefighters on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected the offer, which included “an improved wage growth” schedule

A “No Shooting” sign on DNR land near Spada Lake is full of bullet holes on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, along Sultan Basin Road near Sultan, Washington. People frequent multiple locations along the road to use firearms despite signage warning them not to. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
County pumps the brakes on planned Sultan shooting range

The $47 million project, in the works for decades, has no partner or funding. County parks officials are reconsidering its viability.

Suzan DelBene, left, Rick Larsen
Larsen, DelBene request over $40M for projects in Snohomish County

If approved, Congress would foot the bill for traffic fixes, public transit, LED lights and much more around the county.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.